John Torode’s custard tart

  • serves 8
  • A little effort

Crisp pastry and creamy, nutmeg-speckled custard is a match made in heaven. Custard tarts are a classic, and this is John Torode's recipe for a family-sized one that's guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser.


Make this custard tart, then check out our treacle tartManchester tartBakewell tart and more traditional British desserts.



  • double cream 284ml
  • eggs 3 large plus one yolk
  • caster sugar 40g
  • vanilla extract a couple of drops
  • whole nutmeg

sweet pastry

  • plain flour 125g
  • caster sugar 40g
  • ground almonds 25g
  • unsalted butter 100g, chilled and diced into small cubes
  • egg yolks 1
  • lemon zest of ¼


  • Step 1

    To make the pastry, whizz the flour, sugar and almonds briefly in a food processor, add the butter and pulse until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg, lemon zest, rum and a pinch of salt, and whizz again briefly until the pastry makes a ball. Wrap and chill for at least 1 hour (2 if possible).

  • Step 2

    This much butter makes the pastry a little tricky to roll out so do it between two sheets of baking parchment. Roll out to about 5cm larger than a 22cm loose-based tart tin. Peel off the top sheet of parchment, then pick up the pastry with the bottom sheet. Lay the pastry over the tin, paper side up, and peel off the paper as you lift and ease the pastry into the tin. Trim then push the pastry up a little above the level of the tin in case it shrinks during cooking. Chill for 15 minutes.

  • Step 3

    Heat the oven to 190c/fan 170c/gas 5. Line the pastry case with a sheet of foil or baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and beans and bake for a further 10 minutes until pale golden. Turn down the oven to 160c/fan 140c/gas 3.

  • Step 4

    To make the filling, bring the cream to just below boiling point. Whisk together the eggs and sugar with a drop of vanilla extract. Pour on the hot cream, whisking all the time. Put the tart case on a baking sheet and pour in the filling. Grate over a layer of nutmeg. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the custard is setting but still has a slight wobble. Cool completely.